About Me

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Hi, Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. I'm Carol, married to Bill, with two children. I love to dabble in all types of crafty pursuits and enjoy nothing more than attending workshops and learning new techniques, which I then try to reproduce at home....sometimes with success!!!


Sunday, 31 October 2010


                                                  ALTERED BEER MAT

 As you are all now probably aware I love attending the fantastic workshops held in Olney, at LBCrafts. Both Linda Brown and more recently Linda Elbourne have given me such a great hobby to pursue.

Some years ago I began making cards and how pleased I was with the peel off  borders and stamped images or decoupaged characters!!. I still have these in a little treasure box that I look at every so often. It seems I have progressed a lot since those early days and have now begun travelling down the altered art pathway.(being beckoned in the dim mists by an overseas hand, attached it would seem to one Tim Holtz!!! surely the God of all thing altered, vintage, quirky, aged,embellished, stamped, masked, distressed and  ..............) I must publicly thank the Linda's here for encouraging me to a) join in with a workshop and b) feel free to step outside my comfort zone and try new thing.
Well in this section I want to showcase some of the great things they have helped me to produce and then I promise I will put in some creations that are purely my own. By the way you really should go to LBCrafts website and then follow Linda Browns blog and also Linda Elbourne's called A crafting journey.
Above is the Altered beer mat. Such fun to make and to collect!

                                               MIRROR MIRROR

This is not the best photo in the world and it doesn't really show this to its best!!!
Each of the sections comprises of a section of metal, hand embossed using T.S.S. tools and plates, or others that have been put through a Cuttlebug, using their folders. Coloured with alcohol inks and/or black acrylic paint to age and distress. I'm intending to do a few of these as Christmas gifts for friends, in differing colourways.

This gives a slightly enlarged view of one of the sections embossed. The combination of the acrylic paint and the alcohol inks gives a super aged look, which I just love.

Below is a picture of the top right hand corner section where the butterfly gives a real dimensional finish I think.

p.s. The mirrors use to only be available in a pine finish but thank you Ikea, for making them in various colours, including the black/brown variety. it saves having to do a great deal with the reverse of the frame as it already is in keeping with the rest!!!!!!!!!

                                                TICK TOCK CLOCK

Sorry about the light shining on the wording of this!!! I'm still getting use to my camera. I know ....poor excuse. Anyway it should read, "Time can never take away our most precious memories"     This little item used a small shadow type box, in which was placed the old and aged book page, upon which was stamped some of the cogs and wheels. (I have a terrible memory for the stamps used, but in this case I think they were all Paperartsy, apologies if I'm wrong and do feel free to correct me!! )

The stamped clock faces on the metal were further textured using T>S>S> tools and then secured in the box. The frame itself was covered with various colours of ferro and Terra and then heated to create bubbles. I LOVE, LOVE LOVE this simple technique it.s sooooo cool and the effects are always so different.
Various precious metal colours were added and the whole thing shimmers. Little embellishments, by Tim, I think, completed the frame.


This is probably my all time favourite workshop make!!!!! I learnt so much during this session and learnt that it worked really well to mix all types of different mediums together. Previously, I wouldn't have dreamt of using such textured background work with cut out stamped coloured images!!! It just wouldn't have dawned on me to combine in such a way.

The Prisma colouring pencils were lovely to use and blended so easily. Lin showed us her techniques for colouring and shading and it made all the difference. I hope the pictures show this?
  The background was made using Terra in varying thicknesses, some even over metal that had been embossed.(see below bird nest) .The whole was then coloured using acrylic paints and gold dabbers, while the dragonfly was cut and embossed. All the quirky embellishments added to the end result.
Just recently some visitors were staying, and admiring my little works of art that all live in a small lounge next to my craft room. They were amazed that I had actually made them and have already asked for something similar!!
Once again thanks to Lin Brown of LBCrafts for the inspiration for this piece.


This has turned into a mammoth blog!!!! I am gong to leave all the explanations for the rest of the work and just let you see my FAV makes. Hopefully the pictures can speak for themselves, although I confess I am no great photographer!! So here goes, I hope you enjoy.

I knew I'd have to write something!! Can you see the error? My Mum did right away and told me so!!!  I lost the R from the word bird at the last minute and so replaced it with an upturned L. I didn't think it would notice as I had done all the other letters different sizes. Clearly I was wrong, because she said she didn't even understand the word !

Love this embossed Ten Second Studio plate and it was even hand embossed!!

                                         DREAM UP A SCREEN

Thanks to Linda Elbourne this has proven to be one of the most used ideas for gifts that I have made. The grey board is easy to work with and also my lovely Bind it All machine. I didn't think I'd use it much, but I have had great fun with it. This allows me to use all my lovely papers ribbons and stamps and make something really feminine or seasonal. Hope it gives you some ideas too!!


Ever wondered what to do with all those empty bean tins? Well Linda Elbourne had the answer!! Cover it in a smart HAND EMBOSSED (yes, how cruel was she) jacket and adorn it with a canvas backed metal flower trio and metal foliage. The jacket was made in two sections and then beaded together.


No harm done though and her face was a picture. tee hee!!


Hopefully these will show better than they are on the preview.This was my first venture into the world of corrugated board and cardboard. What fun ripping tearing and poking, the knack was when to stop though, it was a very therapeutic activity and one that I have dabbled with since.

Had to buy the fantastic Dark Room Door set of stamps, especially as they are so versatile.
Love the whole combination Lin Brown suggested although we always veer off a little!

A Waxed Frame

This was a fab class by Lin Brown on using napkins in conjunction with melted bees wax!! and of course we had to include somewhere along the line some metal work and stamping. The canvases were painted in acrylics first and then randomly stamped before layering on various depths of napkin. The birds were also cut from a paper napkin and the metal and stamped metal images were then all assembled.  Great fun!!

Well this is the end of this log! Should have warned you of its length at the start. Hope you've enjoyed looking in at my fav makes and as promised now I've got these on for posterity I can begin to show off some of my own designs soon. Till next time, enjoy your crafting moments.
Love Carol x

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A Flourishing Quartet

Another fabulous workshop make and at the moment my all time fav!!!!
Held at LBCrafts in Olney, by Linda Elbourne

The canvas board was firstly painted with acrylic paint and then randomly stamped with a flourish, (sorry can't remember which off hand) The four squares were individually placed over different Ten Second Studio plates and using the tools embossed. If you're feeling less energetic, they could be put through a Cuttlebut, but only if they're of the solid variety!!!

Each piece was then covered in black acrylic paint, which was wiped off before dring, to give an aged look, whilst still allowing the beautiful copper metal to show through.

The flowers were cut using Tim Holtz dies and the leaves stamped onto the metal using Studio 490 stamps. The leaves and flowers were aged and assembled on the canvas, before die cuuting the bird cage and bird,,,,,also from the wonderful Tim range!!! Is there no end to this man's genius?
                                                                       This picture shows the quartet background a little better, also. the bird cage. which was run through the Cuttlebug folder.
 The tiny flowers were just yellow and plastic so had to TEDIOUSLY be coloured using gold and copper metal effects paste!!!!
Everything was then assembled and I love it.Just wish I had had the idea first...ah well another day maybe.
HAPPY crafting
Carol x